Joye Brown | Newsday

The Empire State Building is shown in Midtown Manhattan on April 30, 2013. (Credit: AP)A Rutgers Regional Report released last week could have been viewed as bad news for Long Island.

It says, essentially, New York City is getting larger while some of the exurbs — that is extended suburbs, which in New York State reach all the way up toward to Sullivan County — are getting smaller. The reason?

According to the study, young people prefer lively urban neighborhoods to the land of single-family homes. But dig deeper into the study, eliminate the exurbs and zero in on Nassau and Suffolk, and there’s ample reason for optimism about Long Island’s future.

James W. Hughes, dean of Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy — and one of the study’s authors — agrees. Asked whether Long Islanders should be worried about the region’s fortunes drying up and blowing away anytime soon, Hughes said, “Oh, no. I don’t think so.”

Why? For one, while some exurbs are losing population, Nassau and Suffolk — like some other counties in New York City’s first ring of suburbs — have gained residents. Read more